Digifest (#digifest20) as a conference is awe inspiring, Jisc really know how to create that wow factor on entering the central auditorium. It was an area divided between trade stands, a village green and a futuristic stage. Next to it housed a massive screen that projected holographic messages signposting exhibits like AR, as well as when sessions were due to start.
The first two sessions of Digifest were thought provoking and relevant to what we are all facing, a greater need to work online and provide a digital solution to our traditional working practices. Unsurprisingly enough, this is even more relevant now! Since I wrote part 1, we have gone through a seismic shift in learning and teaching, and had to adapt at a rapid pace to the new ways of working.
This ties nicely to the third session that I attended called Digital Imposter Syndrome in Pracademia. We are all now facing a new way to interact with colleagues, students and our families. The fact that in the not so distant past, people would shy away from attempting new ways of using technology, yet are now being forced to change and adapt. This session had the perfect message for our current working environments.
Just give it a go! It might fail. If it does … so what?
We are a diverse community of practitioners and academics that are rallying, more than ever, to provide support and resources for each other and our students.
The previous worry and the point I would have made, had I written this when Digifest was fresh in my mind, was that our students know more than us. That might well be true in certain technological areas, but actually, this is also a challenging time for them too. We are in a prime situation for students to give us their feedback, which can only benefit us and them in collaborating going forward. This idea of digital support and digital co-creation is something that the TEL team are happy to discuss so please let us know if this is something you are doing or want to know more about (you can start with me email@example.com or the general help email firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Are you a digital Imposter? #digifest2020 Unrealistic personal expectations lead to people thinking they can’t do something digital. It’s about trying to break down the walls of fear for each other so that experiences become enjoyable and help give us “quick wins”.
— TEL Portsmouth (@TelPortsmouth) March 10, 2020
At the time I made this tweet, it summed up nicely where we stand today. At the moment quick wins are the name of the game, being adaptable and using new tools to try something new.
Back to the wider Digifest angle, and each session I attended, offered new and creative ideas for teaching. Harlow College provides their students with an iPad for their studies and with it they are creating digital scrapbooks to help with dementia patients in the community, writing and directing drama performances for the community around evocative subjects like cyber-bullying. It lets the students’ creativity flow through all their studies and is not fixed to traditional technical subjects. This is key when thinking that ‘they’ know more than we do. We, as academics, understand that the generations surrounding us have different skills to offer, and to ignore that is only going to slow innovation. If we develop why we want to use the technology and think about the pedagogic rationale, maybe the students can run with the theme and ideas and inspire us in how we work, assess and challenge our previous norms.
Digifest was an amazing space to share ideas and hear about innovations in teaching that are surprisingly easy to implement. So far I have written only around day 1, day 2 was equally fruitful. The final blog post in the series will look at the highlights of day 2 and what we can do going forward with the enforced digital revolution that we are all now part of.